Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chocolate Surprise!

Although I have been on a once-a-week-ish baking schedule lately, I had another event to bake for...So, lucky readers, here is cookie blog post #2 of the week. I woke up early on a Saturday morning to make these sweet birthday treats for my boyfriend's nieces and nephew who are celebrating turning the ripe old ages of 5 and 6. ahhh to be young, to be young ;)

I wanted to make something new and fun, so I found these simple-yet-complicated little cookies and thought I would give them a shot. The ingredient list is short, and made up of lots of things you may normally have on hand as a baker, so these could be a good last minute cookie, even though they take a little more time that the average treat.

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
semi sweet chocolate chunks

1/cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp milk
sprinkles for decorating

This ingredient list is for 1 batch of cookies, but I would suggest doubling it right off the bat. As usual, I'm sure I made my cookies bigger than they're actually supposed to be, but I barely squeaked out 18 cookies from this recipe, so I actually went ahead and cranked out batch #2 for the party.

First off, cream the butter on med speed for 30 seconds or so until its nice and creamy. On low speed, add in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well, scraping down the bowl, then add in the flour a little at a time.

This is an eggless dough, so you will have that pastry-like, crumbly texture when the mixing is done. Do not fret, you've done it correctly. Just knead the dough with your hands a little bit to bring the dough together.

Using a teaspoon, measure out equal parts of dough, and form into a ball. I accidentally dropped my teaspoon measure in the garbage disposal and destroyed it (Joe if you're reading this, it was the old disposal, don't worry) so I had to resort to using my half tablespoon, which is pretty much the same thing.

I made the balls with about 1 to 2 tsps worth of dough. Into each dough ball, press one chocolate chunk into the center.

Reshape the ball so the chocolate is no longer showing.

Place them about an inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before attempting to frost. I went for a run while I let them cool, to burn off all the cookie dough and chocolate I "sampled" during the baking process ;)

To make the frosting, simply measure out the powdered sugar, add the vanilla, and whisk in the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until its at the desired consistency. I used a little too much vanilla so I got more of a "butterscotch" color instead of a white color. I would suggest using white vanilla extract if you really want that crisp snowy hue...

Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the frosting and place them on the wire rack. I would suggest lining the counter with wax paper or some other paper to protect from drippy wet frosting. Immediately after dipping, sprinkle with your desired decoration. I dipped and sprinkled about 5 cookies at a time, since the frosting does harden up pretty quickly, you don't want to wait too long, lest your sprinkles fail to stick and roll onto your kitchen floor...

Allow the frosting to harden before you pack the cookies. I separated each layer with a piece of wax paper to try to keep them looking pretty. These little preventative measure usually fail miserably, but hey, at least I tried.

Happy Birthday kiddos!!!!

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